Introduction

The Titan Process® causes specific effects in a reservoir to increase the efficiency and performance of the waterflood to move oil towards the producing wells. It is a dynamic technology that solves many reservoir management problems such as:

Poor injection efficiency
Premature breakthrough
Poor injection profiles (channels, fractures and thief zones)
Poor sweep efficiency
Poor pattern recovery

Waterflood recovery performance depends on many technical factors. The Titan Process has a positive affect on some of the more important elements that aid in well and reservoir performance. Important elements to a successful waterflood, such as areal (outward) sweep efficiency, vertical sweep efficiency and displacement sweep efficiency all can be improved by the application of the Titan Process.

The Titan Process supplies nutrients to specific colonies of microbes within the biomass of the reservoir. The microbes’ skin surface characteristics are changed by the nutrient protocol of the Titan Process. This process, when applied through an existing waterflood project, will re-profile the reservoir. Three distinct changes take place that enhance areal and vertical sweep efficiency and displacement efficiency:

Oil droplets are dislodged from pore spaces;
Oil droplets uniquely become smaller;
A natural emulsion blocks thief zones.

The Titan Process mobilizes incremental and “unre-coverable” oil. The purpose is not to just increase short term production rates but to greatly increase the long term efficiency of the field. The Titan Process helps eliminate high water production ratios, lowering both lifting and water disposal costs, but the ultimate advantage is an increase in oil production.


Waterflood Improvements

Areal Sweep Efficiency
The area that the water will contact in the reservoir and the flow properties of the oil and water as well as pattern and pressure distribution are aided by the Titan Process. This is due to the dislodging of trapped oil droplets from within the pore spaces that in combination with some of the microbes and water creates a natural emulsion that blocks thief zones, and aids in the redistribution of the water flow and hence the flood efficiency.

Displacement Efficiency
This relates to the amount of oil which water will displace in the invaded zone. By dislodging oil droplets from the rock face within pore spaces and the subsequent distortion of the oil droplets by the microbes into smaller droplets, the tendency is for the smaller droplets to more easily overcome the capillary pressure that is trapping the oil. Also because of the energy being released by microbes and their activity, fluid motion is created within the pore matrix. The oil droplet is now surrounded by microbes. The microbes’ skin, because of the Titan Process, becomes oleophilic (oil-loving) and shrinks and is now wrinkled and unsmooth, creating a dramatically increased surface area allowing for improved interfacial contact. This much larger wrinkled surface allows for less fluid force or pressure to be needed to move the oil droplet. An example would be a very smooth-surfaced round rock on the bottom of a stream. It would be slowly pushed downstream, but a similar rock with a very rough surface would be pushed more easily by the increased friction of the water flow against its surface. Smaller oil droplets surrounded by microbes can now flow more easily through the pore spaces and pore throats of the strata towards the well bore, thus the displacement sweep efficiency is increased.

Vertical Sweep Efficiency
The percent of a formation on a vertical plane that water will contact depends primarily on the degree of reservoir stratification. Composition, porosity and permeability of the strata will all effect vertical sweep efficiency. The important factor is that major problems can be caused by the injection water seeking zones of higher permeability.

Thin, high permeability channels in stratified reservoirs can prevent efficient flooding of other zones. This results in lower oil production and increased water production. The natural emulsions produced by the Titan Process reduce high water injection concentrations within these small zones or intervals (thief zones). This is caused by the combination of the energized microbes, oil and water joining to form a viscous emulsion, allowing for new flood direction and sweep efficiency.

Summary
The Titan Process can significantly improve the management of waterflood operations by allowing for increased multi-well pattern communication from injection to producing wells. Injection efficiency is greatly enhanced by the microbial actions. Thin, high permeability channels in stratified reservoirs also are less likely to effect flooding efficiencies as they will be subject to the natural emulsion tendencies created by the Titan Process.

By increasing the fluid penetration and vertical and areal sweep efficiency, the Titan Process allows greater access to the remaining oil-in-place. An important action of the microbes is that by surrounding the oil droplet they reduce the tension (interfacial tension) of oil droplets to the rock face, thereby allowing for the oil droplet to be easily dislodged allowing for increased recovery.

Water being pushed through the reservoir relies on its force of movement from afar (the injection well pressure). Microbes in contact with this water volume have their own propulsion system (a small flagella) that can allow them to also move into adjacent areas where immobile water is present. Thus they can migrate where water “flow” is not present. As injection water is eventually diverted into these “no flow” or unswept areas of the reservoir due to the blocking of thief zones, water flow into these new areas will increase. This enables the recovery of newly contacted oil as well as newly dislodged oil droplets from these pore spaces, since the microbes to some extent will have already been active in this area through their migration under their own power. The gentle emulsions blocking the thief zones are not permanent and cannot damage the reservoir because the microbes are smaller in size than normal, and the new nature of their skin (oily) keeps them apart. Also, if the nutrient source is stopped, the reservoir will return to its original state.


The Bottom Line

Injection and sweep efficiencies are greatly improved by the Titan Process, allowing for waterflood performance to be increased and operating costs to decrease. Also, more wells can become profitable and remain on stream. The Titan Process is environmentally friendly as there is no change in the chemical or physical properties of the reservoir fluids. No harsh chemicals are used in the Titan Process, and H2S levels usually decrease as the friendly Titan microbes crowd out the sulfate reducing bacteria. Microbes stimulated by the Titan Process reduce the activity of sulfate reducing bacteria.

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